Auckland – West                          Mainly West of Queen Street – seen through my lens

September 17, 2010

Muriwai: White-Fronted Terns

Filed under: Birds,Muriwai,Sky — paul @ 6:45 am
White-Fronted Terns (Sterna Striata)

White-Fronted Terns (Sterna Striata)

A Skywatch Friday photo. More Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

The Gannet colony at Muriwai is also nesting and breeding site of white-fronted terns (sterna striata). Some of the time they are congregating on ledges on Motutara Island, some of the time underneath and beside the southern point opposite. And in between they play chasies, either in large swarms as seen a couple of weeks ago, or breaking into smaller groups of 2-4 or more, occasionally coming close enough to the viewing platform to tempt me to shoot. Always noisy, always fun to watch, as they fly on unpredictable paths, following their whims.

Offers of fish play an important part in the interaction between terns, but the exact nature of the play is a bit of a mystery to me. I have observed birds that carried the fish in their beak over a long period of time before it was offered, and sometimes the fish was passed back after some time – who knows what they are thinking…


  1. great photo of the birds in flight, they are not easy to catch, happy sky watch friday

    Comment by Pearl Maple — September 17, 2010 @ 6:49 am

  2. Just awesome!!!!

    Comment by Carpe Diem Sweden — September 17, 2010 @ 7:14 am

  3. I, also, live by the water and enjoy watching the terns fishing. nice capture!

    Comment by Trish — September 17, 2010 @ 7:44 am

  4. Stunning those White-Fronted Terns !!
    Great picture…
    Happy SWF and greetings from Holland,

    Comment by FotoAnna — September 17, 2010 @ 8:04 am

  5. What an incredible capture, Paul! Interesting information about their interaction! All that and lovely skies as well! Have a wonderful weekend!


    Comment by Sylvia Kirkwood — September 17, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  6. How amazing to catch such a sight!

    Comment by Bellybytes — September 17, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

  7. Great BIF, with added bonus of food at beak.

    Comment by Tabib — September 17, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

  8. Fabulous capture.

    Comment by Rajesh — September 17, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  9. Fantastic capture!

    Comment by Cecilia Artista — September 17, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

  10. What elegant birds in flight.

    Comment by joan — September 17, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

  11. Stunning Captured, Love the shape of the gannets

    Comment by boom nisanart — September 17, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

  12. A glorious sight! Delightful wings in a beautiful sky!

    Comment by Gemma@Greyscale — September 18, 2010 @ 12:53 am

  13. Great capture. Love it.

    Comment by eden — September 18, 2010 @ 5:54 pm

  14. You really gat a great shot here. I have never seen that tern before. I don´t think it comes to sweden. You photographed the birds, in my SWF entry I have photographed the birders. 🙂

    Comment by NatureFootstep Birds — September 18, 2010 @ 10:18 pm

  15. nice shot; terns are magnificent creatures; they migrate to our waters every year; see some of my tern snaps here:

    Comment by CB — September 21, 2010 @ 7:49 am

  16. Wouah les sternes !

    Terns Wow!

    Comment by La Dame de Nage — September 28, 2010 @ 9:24 am

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